In an interview with Mayadeen TV on June 22, 2012, Moroccan journalist Mokhtar Laghzioui, editor-in-chief of Al-Ahdath newspaper, stated his opinion that one should be allowed to practice sex out of wedlock. In response to the interview, Moroccan cleric Abdallah Al-Nhari sanctioned his killing in an address posted on the Internet on June 28. Al-Nhari is currently a guest speaker during the month of Ramadhan at the American Muslim Center, in Everett, Michigan. The excerpts from the interview with Laghzioui are followed by excerpts from Al-Nhari's address.
Interviewer: When NGOs and activists demand the legalization of sexual relations between unmarried men and women who have reached the age of consent, in an Arab Muslim country – doesn’t this violate all taboos and prohibitions?
Mokhtar Laghzioui: Hello to you and to all Mayadeen TV viewers. I believe that this involves a proper, reasonable, and normal understanding regarding the practice of one’s individual liberties.
We, in Moroccan society, have reached a certain level of maturity, which requires that we let people decide what to do in their intimate moments. This has become essential.
The open atmosphere familiar to Moroccan society in all aspects requires that we find a solution to this hypocrisy. All Moroccans know that extramarital sexual relations exist, but when it reaches the point that the police or state officials identify venues in which the “crime of love” is practiced – for it seems to me that love has become a crime in Arab and Muslim countries…
Interviewer: But as you know, not everything is done out of love. So perhaps we should consider brothels to be part of individual liberties as well…
Mokhtar Laghzioui: No, no. There is a big difference.
Interviewer: Why not, if everything is done with the consent of all parties?
Mokhtar Laghzioui: No, there is a big difference between brothels and between arresting two consenting adults engaging in personal intimate acts.
In Morocco, there is a ridiculous and pitiful contradiction between the severity of the law towards anyone caught committing this so-called “crime of love,” and between the leniency towards a rapist, who is allowed by law to marry the woman he raped.
I respect the freedom of anyone who chooses the institution of marriage, but the freedom of someone who wishes to engage in extra-marital sexual relations must also be respect…
Interviewer: Does this apply to everyone – your sister, your daughter, your mother?
Mokhtar Laghzioui: It applies to the whole world. Even if I did not accept this, it exists…
Interviewer: We want to know whether you accept it or not?
Mokhtar Laghzioui: I accept that the freedom of every being on the face of this Earth should be respected.
Interviewer: And your sister enjoys that freedom as well?
Mokhtar Laghzioui: I accept that my sister, my mother, or my daughter may exercise their liberties as they see fit. We should have that courage.
The Internet, June 28, 2012:
Moroccan cleric Abdallah Al-Nhari: She said to him: “If you demand that young people of both sexes be allowed to commit the crime of fornication, what are you doing in a Muslim country?” He answered: “These are hypocritical countries. This phenomenon exists, and they conceal it. Why not leave it up to the boy and the girl? If they are consenting – this is not rape… This has to do with private intimacy, so why do society, religion, or the law interfere, and deny them the pleasure of enjoying their bodies in these intimate moments?”
Allah be praised! She asked him: “What if your sister or your daughter wanted to do it?” He said: “I respect their freedom.” In other words, he respects the freedom of his sister, his wife, and his daughter.
Someone who accepts such a thing for his wife or sister – what is he called? A dayouth [someone who is not jealous for his womenfolk]. What is the punishment for a dayouth in Islamic law? Whoever has no zeal – kill him. A dayouth is denied entrance to Paradise.